Ten Keys to a Good Offense

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 17 Davidson v South Carolina

       Developing a successful Offense for your team can be a test of your coaching adaptability.  Some coaches show no flexibility by sticking with an offense they are familiar with from their playing days, or one they learned as an assistant coach from their previous boss.  Others will copy the “flavor of the day” by adopting the NCAA Champion’s Offense or their own League Champion’s sets.  But, flexibility is needed to find an Offense that best fits your personnel each season.  You may not have to junk your present System, but you certainly need to consider whether you have the talent to make it work or not for your next season’s team.  Here my are thoughts on what makes a Good Offense:

  1. Takes advantage of the talent on the team.  Size? Quickness?  Good shooters?  Good Drivers?  What are your strengths?  Build an offense to fit them.  One really great player?  How will you get him open and run the offense through him?  Explore the possibilities.
  1.  Has options that get easy, inside shots.  Drives, post ups, cutters to the basket.  What kind of Motion or sets can get your team some very high percentage shots?  Basing an offense on mostly 3-point attempts is asking for trouble on cold shooting nights.
  1.  Contains plays that get your best scorer(s) open shots.  You need sets, plays or options that will allow your best players to get open shots in their good spots.  When it is crunch time, everyone needs to know how to get your Scorer the ball in his favorite spot.
  1.  Has backdoor plays to relieve pressure.  Defenders that overplay need to pay a price.  Have back-cuts or back-door options to help with the quick, overplaying opponents.
  1.  Contains options to get the ball inside to a scorer.  A Big or a mismatched player needs an option to get the ball inside.  When the outside shots aren’t falling, your team needs a way to get a high percentage shot.  Going inside is one of those ways.  Have a play to get a good post-up player the ball inside.
  1.  Has sets to run the clock down or control the pace. Even a Running Team needs to slow down sometimes, especially at the end of a game when leading.  Make sure you have a special call and plan so players know how to control the clock.
  1.  Sets up similar for man or zone defenses. Against Changing Defenses, a common set is very helpful.  For players who forget or can’t recognize the defense, a similar set will at least have them in the right position so the other four players can execute.  A consistent Set for any defense is simple and effective.
  1.  Provides clear-out options for players who drive well.  Take advantage of guards who drive the basket well and quicker players at other positions too.  Especially left-handed forwards and posts who can surprise opponents with unconventional attacks.
  1.  Has options for three-point shot opportunities. Today’s game requires 3-point shots.  Have a specific play or option to get a good shooter open for a 3-point shot.  Don’t leave it up to the player to have to create his own 3-point shot opening.
  1. Is easy to learn and builds through the season.  Start with a basic motion or set.  Add options and new twists as the players run the originals comfortably and successfully over time.  Add new options or sets for league play and play-offs.



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